On Tuesday 29th of May 2019, members of the Applied Optics Group (AOG) took part in the Canterbury and District University of the 3rd Age (U3A)/University of Kent Research Showcase. Representatives from both organisations and members of the public spent the day in the Gulbenkian Theatre complex on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. They had the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops, talks and demonstrations, facilitated by University academics and researchers and U3A members.
Prof Adrian Podoleanu and Dr Mike Hughes gave well-received short talks in the “Living, Learning and Looking” session, on “Modern optics: extending our lifespan” and “Where no microscope has gone before.”
In the afternoon, a group of U3A members were treated to a special tour of the AOG Photonics Centre labs. Meanwhile, the poster session featured explanations of how AOG research is applied to different biomedical imaging scenarios, including endoscopic lung imaging via the REBOT project, and ophthalmic, dermal and ENT imaging using OCT. Dr Manuel Marques was on hand to explain our research in more detail.
Participants also had the chance to try out some biomedical optics for themselves, as Dr Mike Hughes and PhD student Andy Thrapp manned a stall in the ‘marketplace’. This featured a hands-on demonstration of a fibre bundle-endomicroscope, funded by an EPSRC grant and University outreach funds.
It was a very interesting day, covering a huge diversity of subjects, and an opportunity to present our research to a very eager and interested group of people who we don’t always reach with our engagement activities. We thank Will Woolen from the School of Arts, as well as the Canterbury and District branch of the U3A, for letting us take part in such a well-organised event.